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General Discussions => Education => Philosophy => Topic started by: King Malachite on March 28, 2012, 04:43:01 pm

Title: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: King Malachite on March 28, 2012, 04:43:01 pm
Do you agree with that statement?
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: justmeinoz on March 29, 2012, 04:45:47 am
Yes.  How we interpret it, and what we do with our conclusions are a different matter though.

Karen.
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: King Malachite on April 16, 2012, 08:23:55 pm
I agree.  I think it also comes from the experiences that one goes through and like you mentioned, what we do with those experiences to make us into better people. :)
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Sephirah on April 16, 2012, 08:40:22 pm
I guess my answer to that would be 'not entirely'.

I think that we also have to observe ourselves. As Confucius said: "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."

Or, in the words of Socrates: "To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge."
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: V M on April 16, 2012, 08:51:12 pm
Truly, I would have to agree that observation of both ourselves and the world around us brings a great wealth of knowledge

I have learned a great deal from observing others and from self reflection, often weighing the pro and con of myself and the world around me
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Jeneva on April 16, 2012, 08:58:17 pm
Additional knowledge comes from observing the world but it all starts with the self.

Quote from: Sun Tzu
Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: justmeinoz on April 17, 2012, 05:44:11 am
If we assume that we are part of the world, and not separate,  then our observations are all about how we interact with the world, and affected by our presence as an observer surely.
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: AbraCadabra on April 17, 2012, 08:37:38 am
I guess my answer to that would be 'not entirely'.

I think that we also have to observe ourselves. As Confucius said: "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."

Or, in the words of Socrates: "To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge."

I completely go this that, no need to re-state and then read at the bottom...
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Constance on April 17, 2012, 10:39:20 am
I guess my answer to that would be 'not entirely'.

I think that we also have to observe ourselves. As Confucius said: "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."

Or, in the words of Socrates: "To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge."
I think I'd have to go along with this, or something similar.

The problem with observation is that it's based on point-of-view, and people have their own biases or "lenses" through which they view the world.
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Semiopathy on April 19, 2012, 03:40:59 pm
Quote
"To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge."

This is a contradiction on its face and all the way down. It is a complete refutation of knowledge as such. The concept "nothing" denotes an absence - in this case, an absence of knowledge, of all knowledge. In order to have language, we need to form concepts and assign words to them, e.g. "know" "you" "nothing" etc. If our concepts are based on observable facts in reality, we call that knowledge (as opposed to faith). If you know nothing, your mind is a blank, a zero, a vacuum, and you have no means of stating that you know nothing.

As to the original question, yes, although the phrase "true knowledge" is a redundancy. Knowledge comes from using our perceptual faculty to observe the world around us, and then integrating what we see into concepts. Sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste... Think of what would happen, what the state of a child's mind would be, if he could not see? He would never be able to form a visual concept, such as the color "red" or even the concept of "color".

Now what happens to a child who is completely senseless? Some one who is deaf, blind, who can't taste, who can't smell, and has no tactile sensation?
He would have no means, no method of experiencing the world. He might have automatic processes, such as a pulse, and breath, but he would not be able to feel either. His mind would be like a vacuum; ready to be filled at the first sensation he experiences, but unable to experience or to think anything. From the simplest thought to the most complex abstraction, observation of the world via the senses is required.
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: peky on April 19, 2012, 03:56:10 pm
is there such thing as true knowledge? or is knowledge relative?  Anyway, I would argue that the knowledge actually comes from within
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Sephirah on April 19, 2012, 04:00:39 pm
If our concepts are based on observable facts in reality, we call that knowledge (as opposed to faith).

Or, if they're based on one's perceptions of observable facts in reality, maybe that knowledge is only accurate as long as the perceptions are accurate. Two people can see the same thing but 'know' different things about it, because they assimilate the information differently. Folks are always having to re-question what they 'know' as new information comes to light, so maybe knowledge is only really a sort of holding pattern. In which case, it's not actually known, it's just assumed to be true based on a lack of alternatives.

People all experience the world differently, even sensory information isn't always the same to two people, even if they were experiencing the exact same thing. Synesthesia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia), for example. Folks who experience that may associate colours with sounds, or smells with visual images, or sounds with tastes. That they 'know' the colour blue sounds like a bell ringing... do they 'know' it? Do people without the condition 'know' it doesn't?

I don't know, I'm not sure that quote was meant to be taken quite so literally.
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: King Malachite on April 19, 2012, 04:08:11 pm
is there such thing as true knowledge? or is knowledge relative?  Anyway, I would argue that the knowledge actually comes from within

Suppose the knowledge is true to the person who holds the ideas?  If the knowledge comes from within then how would one go about unlocking the knowledge from within without observing the world?

@Sephirah I don't think the quote was supposed to be taken quite so literally but rather as experiences that shape us.
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: tekla on April 19, 2012, 05:48:53 pm
Lots of people are shaped by events/thoughts/ideas/characters not 'of the real world' - like Jesus say, or Lord of the Rings.

You can observe a lot by just watching.  Yogi Berra
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: peky on April 19, 2012, 07:46:42 pm
Suppose the knowledge is true to the person who holds the ideas?  If the knowledge comes from within then how would one go about unlocking the knowledge from within without observing the world?

@Sephirah I don't think the quote was supposed to be taken quite so literally but rather as experiences that shape us.

I am assuming that we are speking of a phylosophical knoledge rather than a scientific one, true? Assuming is the former, then like Jesus said: "the knidom of heaven is from within."
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Anatta on February 08, 2013, 12:31:22 am
Do you agree with that statement?

Kia Ora M,

::) On the matter of true knowledge : This would depend....

The Buddhist monk Bodhidharma once said...

 "The most essential method, which includes all other methods is beholding the mind.
The mind is the root from which all things grow, If you can understand the mind-everything else is included !”
 

Metta Zenda :)
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Huan Cao on February 16, 2013, 01:12:36 am
Do you agree with that statement?
When it comes to on-the-ground work experience in the industry or your career field, that statement would be true. But an individual would not be able to observe everything that is going on in the world. Thus, we have archives and textbooks to teach us what others have observed.
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Pica Pica on March 10, 2013, 01:04:52 am
I think that true knowledge of the world comes from observing the world.

True knowledge of one's own and others interactions with the world may be more unobtainable.
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Sara Thomas on March 10, 2013, 10:46:08 am
Overall I believe that claiming knowledge is a slippery slope - knowledge being a slippery thing... but we have to make concessions, and believe in at least a few things,  just to survive.

As to whether knowledge comes from observation, I'd say it's the best possible source - or at least the best sounding board against which one can test knowledge attained elsewhere.

Observation won't teach you much about Teddy Roosevelt... but that's not particularly relevant knowledge anyway (though I do enjoy reading about the man).
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Kate G on September 14, 2013, 10:43:20 pm
Do you agree with that statement?


I suppose it depends what kind of knowledge you are talking about and perhaps what you mean by "The World".

But I would say that true knowledge comes from connection and that mostly the world is distraction, noise and entropy.

Unless you are talking about the planet and the lower evolved animals that don't spend their lives creating their own suffering.
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Danielle Emmalee on September 15, 2013, 12:32:44 am
I believe observation is inherently flawed and that true knowledge is unobtainable through current scientific methods (seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting).  We only have the ability to gain a "working knowledge" of the world.  And that working knowledge can be proven false in a single moment.  But it does help us fumble around the Earth in our current states for about 60-80 years on average.  I'm not sure true knowledge can ever be obtained, if it can, surely it is through something beyond physical means, maybe even something beyond our current mental capabilities.
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Jenna Stannis on January 11, 2014, 11:34:26 pm
This is a contradiction on its face and all the way down. It is a complete refutation of knowledge as such. The concept "nothing" denotes an absence - in this case, an absence of knowledge, of all knowledge. In order to have language, we need to form concepts and assign words to them, e.g. "know" "you" "nothing" etc. If our concepts are based on observable facts in reality, we call that knowledge (as opposed to faith). If you know nothing, your mind is a blank, a zero, a vacuum, and you have no means of stating that you know nothing.

As to the original question, yes, although the phrase "true knowledge" is a redundancy. Knowledge comes from using our perceptual faculty to observe the world around us, and then integrating what we see into concepts. Sight, touch, hearing, smell, taste... Think of what would happen, what the state of a child's mind would be, if he could not see? He would never be able to form a visual concept, such as the color "red" or even the concept of "color".

Now what happens to a child who is completely senseless? Some one who is deaf, blind, who can't taste, who can't smell, and has no tactile sensation?
He would have no means, no method of experiencing the world. He might have automatic processes, such as a pulse, and breath, but he would not be able to feel either. His mind would be like a vacuum; ready to be filled at the first sensation he experiences, but unable to experience or to think anything. From the simplest thought to the most complex abstraction, observation of the world via the senses is required.

Well it is known as a Socratic paradox (though some argue it's not a paradox at all). One interpretation of "I know that I know nothing" is that while we cannot know anything with certainty, we can still make knowledge claims with varying degrees of confidence.
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Paul Muad-Dib on February 12, 2016, 11:13:04 am
Do you agree with that statement?

Absolutely. It's what science is all about.

What actually occurs is always true and valid, for the purposes of human beings.

I've been told I'm smart and worldly; but it's nothing special, no talent. I just have my eyes open all the time. That in itself is a good education. 
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: schwarzwalderkirschtort on March 02, 2016, 06:42:12 pm
There's a huge difference between wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom can be gotten from experience only, but anyone can have knowledge and knowledge is eternal and ubiquitous. Knowledge does not need talent. It is human nature to learn things, for survival, but wisdom is an earned quality that is hard to get. Knowledge is a very sure thing - knowledge has to be discovered, and it doesn't change much over time, but wisdom is ever-changing, hence why it's so hard to get.

  I can sit inside for the rest of my life reading books and researching, but that means I'll lose touch with the world. I can observe the world for my whole life and never retreat to fact, but that means I'll lose touch with the truth. We are easily swayed by peers and facts, so there's a need for balance between the two. It's also very subjective and personal, at that.
Title: Re: "True Knowledge Comes From Observing The World."
Post by: Tysilio on March 02, 2016, 09:15:10 pm
There's no such thing as objective observation of the world; what we see always depends on we already know. In principle, we can achieve more accurate knowledge by constantly testing what we think we know against how the world behaves. This is what's meant by "critical thinking."

In practice, given people's seemingly limitless ability to observe the same same set of facts and come up with completely different conclusions... I'm not optimistic.